Ken Matsui wins Greco-Roman 55kg world title on debut

Japan’s Ken Matsui won the men’s 55kg Greco-Roman title on Friday at the wrestling world championships, edging defending European champion Emin Sefershaev of Russia 7-1 in the final.

With his victory in the non-Olympic weight division, world championship debutant Matsui won Japan’s fifth gold medal in the Oslo tournament.

Japan’s Ken Matsui (right) waves his gold medal after winning the men’s 55kg Greco-Roman final at the wrestling world championships in Oslo on October 8, 2021. (Photo courtesy of the Japan Federation wrestling) (Kyodo)

He also became the country’s youngest Greco-Roman world champion at 20 years and eight months, according to the Japan Wrestling Federation.

“I didn’t expect to win so I’m really surprised. I was up against a superior opponent in the final so I decided to show all my skills and have no regrets,” said Matsui.

Japan’s Ken Matsui (right) defeats Emin Sefershaev of Russia in the men’s 55kg Greco-Roman final at the World Wrestling Championships in Oslo on October 8, 2021. (For editorial use only) (Kyodo)

In the men’s 60kg Greco-Roman division, Ayata Suzuki of Japan saw his title bid end in a quarter-final loss to Azerbaijani Murad Mammadov.

Japan’s Yuta Nara and Arata Sonoda lost in the men’s 97kg and 130kg Greco-Roman first round matches, respectively.

The Japanese team for the Championships October 2-10 in Norway does not include any member of the Tokyo Olympics team.

Associated coverage:

Wrestling: Japanese Furuichi wins 1st world title in women’s 72kg

Wrestling: Yoshimoto and Fujinami crowned female world champions

Wrestling: 20-year-old Tsugumi Sakurai wins 55kg women’s gold at world championships

Robert J. King